Good customer service speaks volumes and inspires us to be repeat customers. Doesn’t it feel good when we have issues, we call a business, and the person on the other end responds as if they care. When small businesses respond with good customer service it will always create a memorable experience and people will return and/or recommend your business.
I spent many years working and supporting a call center. That experience made me very critical when I did not receive the service I felt I deserved. If I am spending my money with your business, I expect some sort of appreciation, at least thank you. For some reason, it seems as downsizing has occurred, so has the dwindling of good customer service.
Give life to your business by improving your customer service processes. There is nothing better for attracting and maintaining customers than excellent customer service.
Think about what attracted you to certain businesses attracts others to yours.
- Excitement in your voice not only when you answer but as you continue the conversation. Aren’t you happy they called?
- Listen – don’t talk – listen to what the customer, potential client, prospect is saying…not just what they are saying but what they are not saying.
- Thank them for waiting. If you know that customer had to “wait” to reach a live person, thank them for being patient. That really can defuse anger.
- Smile – Keep a mirror on your desk and smile in it during those moments when you are not in the mood or just don’t feel like it.
- Wait – Sometimes we are so excited and so engaged in the conversation – wait for the other side to stop talking before interrupting with your thoughts and feedback.
- Multi-Task – Multi-tasking is important because you have to concentrate on the call at the same time taking notes for the order, or to keep track of what is being discussed. During your listening and waiting…sometimes you may need to write a thought so you don’t forget to mirror it back to the person when you get the chance to speak.
- Follow-up. Regardless of how the conversation ends with a sale or not, or with a new client or not. It’s always a good practice to follow-up with a thank you for your time, thank you for your consideration, or it was a pleasure speaking with you. To acknowledge that person and possibly close a sale or client in the future, remind them of you are and thank them. Action item for me – send thank you for your time notes…I know how it makes me feel and I need to get better with that.
- Slow – down…Most important – do not rush. When there is calm in your voice, people will respond to that and give you the time you need to complete the task at hand.
I firmly believe that good customer service is key when you build your team. We have to ensure that those that represent us know how to speak to our clients. Most of us are great customer service advocates, especially because we are business owners. But if you don’t have that type of experience, it would not hurt to practice those skills.
I can be old school I know, but in my opinion, good customer service translates into revenue. I spent a couple of years taking over calls of irate customers. I love those challenges because it provides an opportunity to turn that customer around; I always follow-up to make sure the resolution took care of their needs, and it builds loyalty to the company because someone cares about their concerns.
I will always return to a business that treats me well and may cost a little more vs. one that is cheaper and treats me terribly. I guess you pay for what you get is true once again!